Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I spent the weekend in hazmat training.  The ENTIRE weekend, both days.  Doing my duty to finish up firefighter training.

It's amazing how when you need time, time is the last thing you've got.  The real estate agent is coming over Friday to take pictures of the house so it can be listed for sale, and there are some visible, ugly things going on here that are fixable with a little time.  I want to get the house listed before Thanksgiving so that (hopefully) a few folks will want to come see it that weekend and maybe it will sell a little quicker.

What's wrong?  First, earlier refrigerators have leaked and prior owners pulled up tile and put down plywood (which was then leaked on and rotted).  I'm planning on taking this fridge with me (it's a nice one and I've grown attached to it!), so this rotted plywood area will be visible.  Also, I had to remove cabinets over the old fridge when I replaced it, because nobody makes refrigerators that small anymore so now there is a dark, sunken area on the wall where the cabinets were.  Also, the first floor bathroom has some severe water damage on the walls that needs to be covered, and the porch has some rot that I want to minimize.  None of these things need to be perfect (heck, nothing in this 200-year old house is perfect), but they do need to pass the first, "is it ugly" inspection by a potential future owner.

Plus, there's this whole thing about "staging" a house that I've got to get ready for. As in making the floors gleam, the rooms and counters clean and inviting so that the pictures in the listing will make someone want to live here.

So there I was in hazmat class, counting the minutes that I was losing and being a little resentful about the whole thing.

I was driving to work Monday when I realized that there's no chance for success unless I take some time off work.  So, here I am blogging from home.  I just put a raft of leveling compound down and need to let it dry before I put a second layer on.  A little lunch, a little more cleaning (gleam-ifying, if you will), and it'll be time for layer two of leveling compound.

Strange what grabs the attention.  I was hoping there was a way to NOT have to use this old, ugly noncombustible piece in front of the wood stove.  I priced replacement pieces online (all in the $180-$300 range), and realized that I can *make* a replacement easily enough for a fraction of the price.  A little plywood and glass tile later, and there it is in front of the stove.  I put the tiles on one night while watching TV and grouted it last night.  It will be shinier when I clean off the grout haze, and look better when I find a border to put on it.  It's probably borderline in its noncombustible-ness, but I enjoyed making it and it felt like I was accomplishing something useful at the same time.

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